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Polvo's Mexican Restaurant

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(67 Reviews)

2004 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

(512) 441-5446

Today: 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
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Bouldin Creek, Bouldin

Polvos Mexicana & Bar

Mexican Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Family Style Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants, American Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Lot, Private

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Casual

Good For Family: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

Good for Kids: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Family Style, Mexican, American, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Latin American

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: No

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average


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Provided by Citysearch - 
best salsa choices and fish!!l

I travel and when my boyfriend picks me up from the airport , I need my ""mexican food fix"".
So, we head to Polvos and they are always ""right on"" with the Polvos fish. Lots of garlic and not sure what the marinade is but it's light and very flavorful. The salad with cucumbers.pineapple and melon is a nice dessert after all the spice. I ask for the refried black beans instead of the rice. They are the best!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
To Polvo or not to Polvo - that is the question

The quintessential Polvo experience is to spend 15 minutes finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room that is also the parking lot, be seated at a table that *might* have more than 2 chairs that match each other, have some awesome margaritas and chips and salsa(s), experience some inconsistent service, have some of the best damn tex-mex food in Austin, and leave feeling pretty darn happy.

Honestly, folks, it's worth it for the food (and beverage). The hostess and wait staff has always been weird, flaky, mentally in orbit around another planet, and the owner is a complete nut job. But you must, must Polvo. If you're coming to Austin to visit or check it out, this is a great litmus test. If you go to Polvo's and freak - you should not move to Austin. If, however, you leave thinking that was ""all good,"" then you may stay. Okay, maybe not. :-)

We're regulars at Polvo's and have brought our kids there many times. I would not recommend kids there after 7 pm on a Friday/Saturday night. It's great for munchies after you've been at Barton Springs all day...



Provided by Citysearch - 
Drunk Owner misbehaves

We had a very upsetting experience at Polvo's on a Saturday evening. We were a party of 12 - 6 couples. We were waiting for our table which on takes a good amount of time on the weekend. We are regulars so we didn't mind the wait as their food is quite good. While we were waiting around for our table, the owner who was heavily drunk started bumping into the girls in our group lewdly. Some of us intervened politely, he started yelling at us to get out and that he was the owner. The waiters jumped in and tried to help us but the owner would not relent. He insisted on making a scene and threatening everyone around. The hostess was extremely apologetic and some other waiters tried to intervene on our behalf but the owner started throwing fists at them as well ... The waiters told us he was having issues in his personal life and it would be best for us to leave. Well, if he can't handle his personal life, he shouldn't come to work, drink and misbehave! It was extremely insulting and upsetting. As regulars, we are definitely not going to go back to Polvo's.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Lousy service, crowded, but the food is worth it

I used to live closer to Polvo's, and it's the thing I miss most about my old neighborhood. The salsas are some of the best in town (serve yourself, but be aware that the chips and salsa are not free). I highly recommend the pastor fajitas, but I've never had anything there I didn't like. Service is consistently terrible, and you will often have to wait to sit during happy hour while big groups sit around and drink. In my mind, it's worth it, but you may want to try and go during an off-hour if you don't like to wait.



Provided by Citysearch - 
I'm home again

I'm not from Mexico, but El Paso is as close as you can get. The food at Polvo's is the next best thing to being back home. Try their's so good. Their michiladas are fabulous and made in proper and traditional way. This is will always be one of my very favorites.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Bad service

Food was okay, but the service by the waiter and manager was not so impressive. A waiter dropped a tray full of food behind us and sprayed refried beans all over us. They did not offer to comp the meal and when asked to, only comped our queso ($3.00). We will not be returning.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great patio

It has great seating, the salsa are good probably some of the better mexican food i have found in austin. the menu could use some expansion.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Most Authentic Central Mexican food in town!

As far as I'm concerned this place is awesome. Sure, sometimes the wait staff have a bad day, BUT overall this place is great. I live nearby and frequent several times a week. There is a very religious client base at Polvos, and there seems to be a good group of waiters. It seems as though, just recently more and more folks have branched out or heard about Polvos and the wait to be seated can be long. It's starting to become trendy which is great for business and luckily so far they have maintained their small business attitude. Waiting an hour is fine with me b/c the margaritas are great and the outdoor bar helps while you wait. I've never had a bad meal or drink at Polvos. The exotic taco is great, cheap, and a lot of food for the price. It's not your typical tex-mex so don't expect it to be anything like what you've had before (unless you've been to central mex). Polvos is most certainly my favorite mexican food in Austin and I have and would recommend it to anyone.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Terrible...don't waste your money

I feel the need to spread the word on high..THIS PLACE IS TERRIBLE!!!! The service is terrible, the waiters are jerks who have no business waiting tables (i've been there twice) and the food is terribly bland. They have the nerve to charge 20 bucks for a pitcher of the weakest margaritas ever which is more like a pitcher of high fructose corn syrup with some #yellow..just terrible! The menus are stapled pieces of paper which look like they have been through hell and back and they also don't tell you that they charge for chips and salsa (cheap bastards) It seems that the people who go here are just trying to be part of some scene and are not really paying attention to things like good food, good drinks, good service..there is nothing good about this place. My advice is don't waste your money.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Terrible Service and management

We eat at Polvo's at least twice a week and were very put off on our last visit from very rude management. The floor staff was at the table next to us playing a game of ""slamming quarters"" and was being very distracting. When asked to speak to the manager, he came over and aggresively stated that he would not do anything to compensate us for our ruined experience. I will not return to Polvo's and will not bring my family or friends back there either. It is apparent that they do not value thier regular customers enough to ensure a pleasant dining experience.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great queso, great margariats, great fish dishes!

This place has great interior Mexican food, and the service is always very friendly. The queso tastes super fresh, the fish dishes have great flavor from all the spices. I love the mexican martinis here, and the margaritas are great as well. The food never misses, and the atmosphere is quintessential Austin.



Provided by Citysearch - 

Polvos is an institution in Austin Mexican Cusine. You'll read & hear many bad reviews on their service (it used to be horrible), you'll find some folks who think the food is poor (folks who obviously have never been off the beaten path in Mexico). Polvos is authentic Michoacán Cuisine.
The resteraunt has had in the past notoriously bad service, but alas, the crew at Polvos is one of the friendliest in town now. The food is utterly fantastic & true to it's origns of Central Mexico (thankgod no chili con carne found here!). My favorites tend to be the delicious lighter fare, such as all the seafood dishes (best fish tacos in town). The shrimp dishes are always prepared perfectly. The Al Pastor is some of the best in town, hands down. Polvo's Enchilades are by far the best in town for the price. Polvos is worth it for the Esbeche & dark roasted ancho salsa alone!. I can't say enough about this place, utterly fantastic. Very authentic & very pleasing. If your in the mood for austhentic Central Mexican Cuisine, Polvos is one of the best in town. If you know nothing of Mexican cuisine then Tex-Mex, then head to El Mercado up the street.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Does not Honor Their Word

I am typically tolerant if a server is having a bad day, and generally understanding if the kitchen is short staffed. What I will not tolerate is a restaurant that makes promises to entice customers but does not deliver on these promises.

The Polvo's website specifically says: ""Print this page OR MENTION CITYSEARCH"" and purchase two entrées with two beverages and get second entrée half price.

When I mentioned it to the server, I was told I must bring in the printed page to receive the discount, even though the website said I could mention I had seen it. I asked to speak to the manager and was informed that the manager had just turned two people away a few days ago for the same reason. HE REFUSED TO HONOR THE PROMISE MADE ON THE WEBSITE.

Furthermore, the server continued by saying that Polvo's is just ""weird"" like that. That sometimes they just run out of guacamole and people have to accept it. When I asked him about customer service and keeping customers happy, he responded by saying, ""Well, when there's a two hour wait on a Friday evening, we don't have to worry about things like that.""

Now, I don't care about the two bucks I would have saved. Reality is, I would have eaten there anyway. The discount was just a perk I discovered when looking for directions. It is the principle of the matter that has me writing this review.

There are plenty of great mexican restaurants in Austin. I refuse to support any business that does not honor their word.



Provided by Citysearch - 

We went here yesterday for good service and time with the girls,,also a special that was advertised on this website. The special said if you order two entrees you get the second one 1/2 off if you JUST MENTION the AD. Well, we picked out what we wanted and mentioned the ad which our waiter said was not honored here and the manager is aware of the ad but does not honor it?? Is this true?? Why offer a special to get customers attention and thrn once we arrive you do not honor it?? We asked the waiter why,,he said they know they can have a two hour wait and not worry about it..people will still come. Well, i will not anymore, nor my friends. You honor a special, not deny it..thats how you get returning customers. Not by acting like it doesnt matter what you do people will wait two hours.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Walked out of restaurant before even getting food

I wish I would have read some of the reviews here before we went there. The Margaritas are watered down and our waiter was a complete jerk. We waited for over 1 1/2 hours for our food that never arrived. We asked our water what was going on. He said he would go check in the kitchen but never came back. As someone else pointed out, the chips are the cheap ones from the grocery store. We will never go back! No wonder so many restaurants go out of business.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Fish Tacos are Awesome!!!

I love this place, when I have friends come in town or I'm just kickin it on a sunday afternoon, I know Polvos will have my michelada waiting! It's also a great place to bring the fam or someone you really like-like. The portions are huge and the cost is definitely worth what you get. I'm so glad there's a real authentic mexican restaurant in Austin. I think I'll go there today!:)



Provided by Citysearch - 
Ok Food, Terrible Service

While the food at Polvo's is original and tasty, the service can range
from ok to very bad. Recently, we were there with a large party.
Understandably, there were some mix-ups with our order. No problem..
But, the waiter was accusatory and defensive. He actually said at one
point ""Look, I'm not the one cooking the food"". We finally
asked to speak to the manager, something none of us had ever done
before. We were told he was unavailable and the waiter confronted us
right there in the middle of the restaurant. He was again very
accusatory and basically told us that we were rude and ""deserved"" the
bad service. After a long, very uncomfortable argument in front of other
guests, we were surprised to never see or hear from the manager.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Only time I ever stiffed a waiter

Polvo's is the only place where I have ever left no tip. The waiter was so bad it was funny. He complained about how far he had to walk from the kitchen to get to our table, he forgot to bring out half of our food, and the other half was wrong. He said that if we wanted to get the food we ordered, it would take at least 30 minutes. When we asked for more chips, he asked ""Can't you just share?"". When we asked that the gratuity be removed, he said we deserved bad service because we were rude. We asked for the manager, and were told that he was too busy. I was shocked that the manager wouldn't take 5 minutes to come and apologize. I am never going back, and I am telling this story to everyone I know. Too bad. Polvo's used to be good.



Provided by Citysearch - 
It's Mexican food, people!

This is the only place in Austin where I feel like I'm actually in Mexico. This is as authentic as you get. The food is the best, so do not come here and order a salad- you won't be giving them a chance to show off what they can do. It's a Mexican food joint. Greasy, cheesy and good. Especially the breakfast tacos- I've had a lot of tacos all over Texas and these are the best, hands down. The exotic taco is the best deal in town. The atmosphere is a little loud, a little scuzzy, but very inviting. The service has improved dramatically in the four years I've been coming here. This is not a fine dining restaurant- its busy, kinda erractic and fabulous. Expect great food, friendly waiters and lots of action. Oh and watch out for the margaritas- they're dangerous (make you crazy!) I LOVE POLVOS!



Provided by Citysearch - 
I heard it was great. What happened?

I will never eat here again. The food was just awful. It was incredibly loud. The salsa was watered down. The choriqueso was just greasy, lumpy cheese covering grainy chorizo. My shrimp dish and my husband's fajitas were supposed to come with rice. When asked our waiter about it he said, ""Oh yeah, we're out of rice,"" as if we should have known this. Of course! Mexican restaurant with no rice. My six measly shrimp, cooked to shriveled, stringy knobs, were drowned on the plate by a thin red sauce. The house salad was crammed on the same plate alongside the pool of spaghetti-O style sauce so that even if it HAD looked appetizing it was soggy by the time I tried to eat it. At the end of the meal, they still charged us full price for the two items that did not include the advertised rice.

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